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Letter: Open letter to Rochdale councillors

Date published: 24 January 2017


Dear Editor,

What do our councillors think of a proposed £15,665,265 Education budget change by 2019 and the loss of 420 local teachers?

I am deeply concerned that so many of our local schools face such drastic cuts to vital education. This will impact on the Local Authority amounting to in Rochdale to £15,665,265 budget changes by 2019 . This means an above national average cut of £495 per pupil amounting to a predicted loss of 420 teachers in all.

Just a few examples should indicate to you all as councillors how bad these cuts are predicted to be:

St John's Roman Catholic Primary School, Rochdale, faces a budget cut of minus £75,820 in real terms over the next four years.

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School, Rochdale, faces a budget cut of minus £107,141 budget change by 2019 with a loss of £507 per pupil with a proposed loss of two teachers.

Kingsway Park High School faces a minus £619,749 budget change by 2019 with a loss of £614 per pupil and a proposed loss of fifteen teachers.

Rochdale Sixth Form College faces minus £564,050 Budget change by 2019 with a loss of £413 per pupil and the proposed loss of thirty-one teachers.

Unless the Government allocates more money, Rochdale's award winning Sixth Form College faces a funding cut of 8% per student in real terms between 2015 and 2020, on top of the 12% cuts suffered from 2010 to 2015.

The joint research was carried out by unions the Association of Teachers and Lectur-ers, National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Unite, GMB and Unison, and the proposed cuts for every school in Rochdale (and across the country) can be found online at :

http://www.schoolcuts.org.uk/#/schools?query=Rochdale

The Government is imposing real terms funding cuts on schools at a time when the National Audit Office estimates that school costs will increase by 8.7% between 2015/16 and 2019/20.

Figures from the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers & Lecturers, using government statistics, show that even after a new funding formula 98% of schools would face per-pupil budget cuts over this parliament, with an average budget cut of £339 per pupil in primary schools and £477 per pupil in secondarys.

These cuts will hurt us all. They will result, amongst many other things, in:

Schools are already struggling with their finances. Since the last general election, funding for 94% of schools has not kept up with rising costs, and they are now worse off by an average of £178 per pupil. I do not want children in this country to miss out on being taught a full curriculum in a school which has sufficient teachers and support staff to give children the attention they need to make the best of their education.

The current government was elected on a manifesto that promised to protect school funding, yet this pledge is not being honoured.

I hope as councillors that you will back the NUT and the ATL’s call that the Chancellor needs to use his Budget statement on 8 March to announce increased education spending.

I also hope that you will be willing to sign the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers online petition at:

http://www.schoolcuts.org.uk/#/contact-us

I am keen to know what your views are as elected councillors on this important matter affecting many thousands of parents, teachers and pupils across our Townships since if we are to have meaningful and sustainable renewal in Rochdale then investment in the proper education of our current and succeeding generations is surely a fundamental prerequisite of that well-intentioned aspiration.

I look forward to hearing your response.

Yours,

Andrew Wastling

The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.


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